(June 22, 2015) Today an event was held where Arizona Congressman Matt Salmon and Gilbert Mayor John Lewis honored Wisdom Natural Brands®, makers of SweetLeaf® Stevia Sweetener, on its prestigious President’s “E” Award.

Pictured (from left to right): John Lewis (Mayor of Gilbert), Anna Flaaten (U.S. Commercial Service, Senior International Trade Specialist), Carol May (President of Wisdom Natural Brands), Michael P. May, Ph.D. (COO of Wisdom Natural Brands), Matt Salmon (Arizona Congressman)

Pictured (from left to right): John Lewis (Mayor of Gilbert), Anna Flaaten (U.S. Commercial Service, Senior International Trade Specialist),
Carol May (President of Wisdom Natural Brands), Michael P. May, Ph.D. (COO of Wisdom Natural Brands), Matt Salmon (Arizona Congressman)

The President’s award is the highest recognition any U.S. company can receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports.

Nearly 100 attended the event, including executives from Wisdom Natural Brands®: Carol May, President of Wisdom Natural Brands, and Michael P. May, Ph.D., COO. In addition to state and local dignitaries, the celebration included members of the U.S Commercial Service, AZ Commerce Authority, BBB Foundation, Gilbert Chamber of Commerce and Gilbert Office of Economic Development.

Arizona Congressman Matt Salmon’s speech at today’s press conference he shared some inspiring words. “I think you (Wisdom Natural Brands, makers of SweetLeaf) are a family owned business that has come up with an incredibly great idea that’s actually going to benefit humanity by providing a healthy sweetener. (SweetLeaf) Stevia is a great product and now you are going to export that and create more jobs for Arizona. (This President’s E award) is about modeling top businesses. Everybody benefits from trade, in fact 1 out of 5 jobs in Arizona is trade related,” Congressman Salmon.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker presented Wisdom Natural Brands® with the President’s “E” Award for Exports at a ceremony in Washington, DC. The President’s “E” Award is the highest recognition any U.S. entity can receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports.

“The President’s ‘E’ Award winners are outstanding American businesses and organizations that have played a crucial role in strengthening and growing our economy through increased U.S. exports,” said Secretary Pritzker. “By selling Made-in-America goods and services internationally, winners are creating jobs in Arizona and their local communities. Congratulations to Wisdom Natural Brands. Exports are critical to our nation’s competitiveness in the global marketplace and solidify our country’s economic leadership across the globe.”

Wisdom Natural Brands is a manufacturer of natural sweetener products made from the Stevia plant and other natural ingredients. Branded under SweetLeaf®, our product line includes powders, liquids and tabs.

“We are honored to be one of the 45 companies to receive the President’s ‘E’ Award. And we are especially grateful for the assistance that the U.S. Department of Commerce has rendered in helping us make the world a sweeter place,” said Michael May, Ph.D., Chief Operating Officer for Wisdom Natural Brands. “A key part of our strategy for growth in the coming years will originate from customers and partners in the global marketplace.”

In 1961, President Kennedy signed an executive order reviving the World War II “E” symbol of excellence to honor and provide recognition to America’s exporters. Secretary Pritzker honored 45 U.S. companies with the President’s “E” Award for their outstanding work to reduce barriers to foreign markets and to open the door to more trade around the world.

U.S. exports of goods and services hit an all-time record of $2.34 trillion in 2014, accounting for 13.4 percent of U.S. GDP, compared to 7.5 percent 30 years ago. Nationally, jobs supported by exports reached an all-time high last year with more than 11.7 million jobs, up 1.8 million since 2009.

American companies are nominated for “E” Awards through the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service office network, located within the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. Record years of successive export growth and an applicant’s demonstration of an innovative international marketing plan that led to the increase in exports is a significant factor in selecting the overall winners.

For more information about the “E” Awards and the benefits of exporting, visit www.export.gov.